White Holy Apostles Logo with crest
Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat 2On Saturday, April 5, over 80 attendees joined the Divine Mercy Retreat held on the Holy Apostles College & Seminary (HACS) campus. The prayerful day began with the Holy Mass in the chapel celebrated by Rev. Dominic Anaeto, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels parish in Meriden, CT, and a professor at Holy Apostles.

Following the Mass, Professor Daniel O’Connor gave an engaging talk about Divine Mercy and its relevance especially in our times today. Professor O’Connor received his MA in Philosophical Theology in 2012 from Holy Apostles. He writes for his personal website, where his books, talks, videos, and other works may be found. You can read our featured article here.

Dr. Robert Stackpole then gave a detailed overview of the importance of both the Divine Mercy and Sacred Heart and the connection and proper relationship between these devotions. Dr. Stackpole has been the Director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy based in Stockbridge Massachusetts, an apostolate of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1991 before becoming a Roman Catholic in 1994.

Following the luncheon, the afternoon continued with adoration, confession, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy sung with the HACS music ministry. In all, it was a beautiful day of reflection, spiritual renewal, and gathering of community!

Reflecting on Divine Mercy: Highlights from the Holy Apostles Retreat 6

The O’Connor Family’s Holy Apostles Journey

The O’Connor Family’s Holy Apostles Journey

College is an opportunity to explore one’s interests and skills, discern one’s path, and create meaningful relationships along the way.

It is certainly the case for Daniel O’Connor and his wife Regina O’Connor (Wagner), who met while attending Holy Apostles College & Seminary (HACS) over 10 years ago.

Daniel completed an MA degree in Philosophical Theology in 2012 at HACS alongside a class of exceptional students, including the Very Reverend Chris Alar M.I.C. and the Very Reverend Daniel Reehil, V. F., among others, who, as seminarians, were studying for their M.Div degrees; friendships that continue today.

Regina, who hails from Hamden, CT, received her BA in Philosophy in 2013. Her interest in attending HACS as a commuter student resulted from the desire to further her studies, having obtained an Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy from a secular college in 2011. But this time, a Catholic education was essential to her.

“From the first moment I stepped onto the campus at Holy Apostles, I felt both an indescribable sense of peace and a profound gratitude to the Holy Spirit for guiding me there. In the two years I studied at HACS, I had only the most incredible experiences. I absolutely loved the small, deeply faith-based classes (taught by truly solid, Catholic professors), and getting to know some of the most incredible people I have ever had the blessing to meet,” said Regina.

“Among some of the most beautiful opportunities I had as a lay student included: singing in a campus choir with fellow classmates – lay students, seminarians, and religious sisters alike – for various Masses, attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and being able to regularly stop by the beautiful campus chapel (where Daniel later proposed to me) to pray in the presence of Our Lord. I will forever be grateful to God for leading me to Holy Apostles!”

After graduating from Holy Apostles, the couple was later married by the then HACS President-Rector, Fr. Mosey, at St. Mary Church in New Haven.

Currently, Daniel and Regina reside in upstate New York and now have five children ranging from ages one to nine years old, keeping them extremely busy. An adjunct Philosophy Professor at the State University of New York Community College, Daniel has also completed four years of studies toward a Ph.D. in Philosophy. And carrying on the family tradition, two of Daniel and Regina’s nieces are currently online students at HACS.

Daniel affectionately recalls his time on campus, “My experiences at Holy Apostles remain among the fondest memories of my life, as well as the ones from which I am most wholeheartedly grateful. Whether attending Mass and praying the Divine Office in the chapel, studying under the guidance of the excellent and inspiring professors, or enjoying fellowship with other students, or participating in the many extra-curricular activities that flourished (such as pro-life work and evangelization), the opportunities provided at HACS were unique and irreplaceable. I hope and pray that many thousands more students are able to experience what I did at Holy Apostles!”

Daniel has gained a strong following on his website and blogs on many topics ranging from the Divine Will and Divine Mercy apostolates to the subjects of eschatology, AI, and reflections on our times. He has been a guest on many webcasts and shows, including EWTN Living Divine Mercy, among others.

Recently, Daniel published a book called, “Only Man Bears His Image,” a comprehensive publication depicting Catholic and Biblical views on aliens, UFOs, and other Sci-Fi issues. A fascinating book!

“We are blessed to have such a beautiful family as part of our community, both as alumni and current students,” said Fr. Peter Kucer, President-Rector. “The O’Connor family exemplifies what Saint John Paul II wrote, ‘To the extent in which the Christian family accepts the Gospel and matures in faith, it becomes an evangelizing community…The family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates. In a family that is conscious of this mission, all the members evangelize and are evangelized. The parents not only communicate the Gospel to their children, but from their children, they can themselves receive the same Gospel as deeply lived by them. And such a family becomes the evangelizer of many other families, and of the neighborhood of which it forms part.” (Familiaris Consortio, 52)

Holy Apostles College and Seminary www.holyapostles.edu is a NECHE and ATS accredited college with a mission of preparing and educating seminarians, consecrated and lay students for the New Evangelization through undergraduate and graduate programs. Students have access to faithfully Catholic, truly affordable, and fully online programs as well as residential religious programs in historic Cromwell, Connecticut. As a pioneer in online learning, Holy Apostles is one of the first theological schools to offer 100% online graduate programs. Alumni and faculty of the institution include internationally recognized leaders and experts in the areas of apologetics, philosophy, and theology.